8 weeks ago I started a programme called “Scream if you want to run faster” organized by Julie from “Too fat to run”. It was a 5k improvement plan and I tested my time with the Grovelands Parkrun in North London. This particular parkrun is pretty hard, very hilly and it has 3 laps, with an incline of 46m.
My Personal Best was 28:53 which I got one week after the London Marathon in 2016. That means that I’d been training at that moment for about 4 months. No wonder I got a PB! However, time passed, my training months were long gone so I started 8 weeks ago with 30:08.
All runners know what they have to do to improve their times – intervals, hills, eat well, going to the gym etc. We know what we have to do, but actually doing it is difficult. One of the best things of the programme was the Facebook group where we could talk to each other, offer encouragement, praise our PBs and ask for advice. The group kept me accountable and on track and it was all female, so it was comfortable.
I know many runners, I read running blogs and I live with Speedy Gonzales. And I’m often frustrated that I’m always the slowest one. This wasn’t the case anymore and I was even an example and motivator for others. Me!
After the first 3 weeks of training I went back to the Grovelands Parkrun to test my time. And suprize, surprize, I got a PB. I beat that time I got after the London Marathon! Now my PB is 28:23 and even though it’s still slow, I’ll take it!
Initial blog post about the programme is here.
I wrote a short summary of my progress 4weeks into the programme in this blog post.
I’ve done hills, intervals, went to the gym as usual, I ate carbs (hello, belly!) and I convinced myself to push. And then I experienced a whole new type of hate. At some point during the last weeks of the programme, one of the tasks was to get a running buddy. I was terrified, but I knew I had to do it: I asked Alin to pace me during a run. We chose a flat course and he paced me at 5.30/km, which gave me a 5k time of 27:38. It was hard and I hated every seconds of it, I even hated Alin for a little bit, but it was well worth it. The following Sunday I ran the North London Half and got a personal best with 2h 11min (3 minutes off the previous half marathon).
The week after the North London Half I only did one recovery run and rested until the following Saturday, which was my final run for “Scream if you want to run faster”. I did not get a PB and finished it in 28:43. Without it being an excuse, that was also the week of the house move and my stress levels were higher than normal. My sleep was also affected, so let’s just say I wasn’t functioning properly.
Still, it was an improvement compared to day 1 and now I have all the tools necessary to go even faster.
Thanks Julie for organizing and thanks to all the ladies in the group for the support! It’s been a pleasure!
If you want to join the programme, here’s where to start.